Lexington County Republicans voted to rebuke state Sen. Jake Knotts and ask him to resign his office after he used a racial slur last week against state Rep. Nikki Haley.
Both lawmakers are from Lexington County and the dispute was a feud between old guard Knotts and Haley, who represents the rising conservative wing of the party. Knotts referred to Haley, whose parents are Indian immigrants, as a raghead on an Internet political talk show.
Knotts said Thursday night he would not resign, and said the resolution was pushed by supporters of Haley and Gov. Mark Sanford, Knotts longtime adversary.
This is not a Republican Party, this is a libertarian party, Knotts said, noting the group did not censure Sanford last year after he admitted an extramarital affair. This is nothing but politics. Im not resigning. I could care less.
Joshua Gross, who authored the resolution and was campaign consultant for Katrina Shealys 2008 Senate contest against Knotts, said he felt an obligation after rebuking a candidate in a national young Republican campaign last year for a racial remark about President Barack Obama. Shealy has announced she will challenge Knotts in 2012.